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December 1950


AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;52(6):952-956. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700030979014

The greatest need in the field of pure tone audiometry is for a simple, reliable method of testing hearing by an objective response. By such a means one could evaluate hearing thresholds without having to depend on the patient's cooperation. Such a method would be of inestimable value in testing the hearing of infants and young children, particularly those for whom the failure to learn to speak has brought up the question of mental retardation.

All physicians are familiar with the frantic mother who brings her 2 year old child to the office to have his "hearing tested." He has not learned to formulate even the simplest words—even though he reacts to a loud handclap, the door buzzer, streetcar noises—and is now suspected of being feebleminded, with the prospect of several years' specialized management along the wrong lines.1 Use of any device which would give an accurate estimate of the